Archives for posts with tag: Relationships
On June 28, 1986 at 7:00 pm in the evening at the Birmingham Wedding Chapel in Alabama I said I DO to myWedding Rings - Robert Wallis husband Tony! If you go to The KISS and Jennifer Keitt Show FACEBOOK PAGES (http://www.facebook.com/thejenniferkeittshow) you can see my wedding day picture. That was 27 years ago and we spent about $4,500.00 TOTAL—including my dress and our gold wedding bands. My hair was a HOT MESS…my daughter’s say the dress that I said YES to was classic 80’s and my reception was sparse to say the least—but hey, 27 years later, I’m still standing in marriage!
Today, the average wedding costs about $28,000.00 dollars and I found out this week—when I did an interview with Lori Allen and Monte Durham from TLC’S Say Yes To The Dress—that they have gowns in Lori’s store upwards of $20,000.00 dollars! Veils can cost as much as $2,000.00 dollars! That’s a TON of money to spend on the first day of what is supposed to be the rest of your life with someone!
I’m wondering, though, do we spend that much in time and preparation to STAY married? Nowadays I’m even questioning is marriage becoming OBSOLETE? With the number of couples opting for a variety of different configurations—from FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS to LONG-TERM boyfriend/girlfriend to LONG-TERM “piece” on the side, baby-mommas, baby-daddys and the status of being NOT married yet NOT single, hmmmm…I wonder, where does MARRIAGE fit in? Why are so many people opting out of saying “I DO” for a lifetime?
Now let me keep it real, I broke all the rules before getting married. Tony & I lived together for three years before tying the knot. According to most of the research, because we lived together, we were more likely to never get married, and according to the research we should have divorced within the first 7 years of our marriage. Well Tony proposed and we got married two weeks after I graduated from college. Because I was in my final semester I didn’t have time to plan a wedding. I was 22 years old! I didn’t know ANYTHING about weddings let alone getting married! We found a wedding chapel and the man who ran the chapel was also a wedding planner! We sat down one time with George, answered his questions about colors and flowers and punch—and I let him have at it as I hustled to finish up my degree.
Well why didn’t someone tell me that weddings bring out the drama and the crazy in your family? My Dad decided to act the biggest fool because—of all things—Tony & I wanted a DRY wedding…no booze. Now I know some of ya’ll choked on that one…but yeah, we opted for no alcohol! Honestly, I believe he gave me grief because he and my Mom at that time were in between divorce and child support and he wanted leverage. Well, I gave him the leverage…and leveraged him right out of the wedding! Yep…my younger brother gave me away on that day. Of course, I never lived that one down with my Dad. Between finishing my broadcasting degree…trying to coordinate a wedding and dealing with all of my FAMILY drama…Tony and I didn’t even think about how we were going to BE married and STAY married after June 28th!
I think back now and ask myself, “GIRL WERE YOU CRAZY?!” C’mon now, who would drive a car without lessons? Who can get a degree in any field without studying? Who would attempt to build a home without a blueprint or instructions? Yet, we get married without so much as a CLUE! We go on our “feelings!” WHAT?! It’s nothing short of a miracle that I was able to get and stay married to the same man for all these years.
I don’t want anyone to have to go through the hell that I went through. So let’s talk about where we are today. Has marriage become obsolete?
You know what I think part of the problem is?
We’re afraid. We’re afraid of failing at marriage, so we don’t bother to commit to it. We don’t know how to stay married, so we don’t try. We don’t value long-term commitment or “the piece of paper” as some call it so marriage doesn’t cross our minds.
Yet, I know there’s something DEEP INSIDE many of us that want a soulmate. We want to be with the love of our lives every day. We want long-term be with you forever kind of live. We want happiness and the contentment of knowing that someone loves us and cares enough to be with us for the rest of our lives.
How do we get there? That’s why I’m doing this show. So we can think about what we really want.
I think we’ve got to start EDUCATING ourselves about marriage. I had NO IDEA that there was a class or counseling that I could have gotten BEFORE I got married! Pre-marital counseling—I’d never heard of it! I didn’t realize that my wedding day wouldn’t help me ONE BIT when the you know what hit the fan and we had our first married-persons argument! Which dress I said YES to, was irrelevant when he got on my last nerve. When the kids came, what our guests ate at the wedding didn’t matter!
Are we investing more on our wedding day than on the marriage? LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE.
I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT. The Jennifer Keitt Show on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B, is heard every Sunday from 7-8 pm ET. Be sure to download your free ToolKEITT for the Nearly Beloved Show. It’s full of resources, questions and links to help you as you are decided whether marriage is right for you. It’s on my website at http://www.jenniferkeitt.com.

 

 

african american coupleDid you have a great Valentine’s Day? Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. Since the beginning of time humans have been committed to the concept of marriage and love as demonstrated in this story:
One day, a young guy and girl fell in love. But the guy came from a poor family. The girl’s parents weren’t too happy.
 
So the young man decided not only to court the girl but to court her parents as well. In time, the parents saw that he was a good man and was worthy of their daughter’s hand.
 
But there was another problem: The man was a soldier. Soon, war broke out and he was being sent overseas for a year. The week before he left, the man knelt on his knee and asked his lady love, “Will you marry me?” She wiped a tear, said yes, and they were engaged. They agreed that when he got back in one year, they would get married.
 
But tragedy struck. A few days after he left, the girl had a major vehicular accident. It was a head-on collision. When she woke up in the hospital, she saw her father and mother crying. Immediately, she knew there was something wrong.
 
She later found out that she suffered brain injury. The part of her brain that controlled her face muscles was damaged. Her once lovely face was now disfigured. She cried as she saw herself in the mirror. “Yesterday, I was beautiful. Today, I’m a monster.” Her body was also covered with so many ugly wounds.
 
Right there and then, she decided to release her fiancé from their promise. She knew he wouldn’t want her anymore. She would forget about him and never see him again.
 
For one year, the soldier wrote many letters—but she wouldn’t answer. He phoned her many times but she wouldn’t return his calls.
 
After one year, the mother walked into her room and announced, “He’s back from the war.”
 
The girl shouted, “No! Please don’t tell him about me. Don’t tell him I’m here!”
 
The mother said, “He’s getting married,” and handed her a wedding invitation.
 
The girl’s heart sank. She knew she still loved him—but she had to forget him now.
 
With great sadness, she opened the wedding invitation.
 
And then she saw her name on it!
 
Confused, she asked, “What is this?”
 
That was when the young man entered her room with a bouquet of flowers. He knelt beside her and asked, “Will you marry me?”
 
The girl covered her face with her hands and said, “I’m ugly!”
 
The man said, “Without your permission, your mother sent me your photos. When I saw your photos, I realized that nothing has changed. You’re still the person I fell in love with. You’re still as beautiful as ever. Because I love you!”
 
NOW THAT is true love! HOW DO YOU KNOW that you’re really in love? You know it when external circumstances don’t change your decision to love. How do you know if it’s love or lust? Well love isn’t indecisive, sometimey, saying, I love you today but not tomorrow. If its lust the feelings eventually burn out, fade away. Love’s not based on how someone looks, or how much a person makes. Love is NOT sex. Love isn’t about what you can get from someone it’s about what you can BUILD together. Love goes the distance.
That’s what this show is about tonight: THE LOVE CODE. A code is a system of principles or rules. There are principles and rules associated with loving someone. How you treat the person you love and how they treat you. So, how do you know you’re in love? Do you follow the rules of love? It’s not HARD to love but it does take work. And we’re a workaholic nation—so what’s the big deal? Is loving too hard? What do you think? Tell me in the comment section and be sure to listen now to the show HERE.
I am your chief empowerment officer and my radio show, The Jennifer Keitt Show can be heard every Sunday evening from 7 – 8 pm ET on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.jenniferkeitt.com and come to see me in person at my upcoming POWER BREAKFAST 2013: Reinvent You! Register and find out more information here: http://www.tbwpowerbreakfast.com. 
In High School I was under the naïve impression that men and women COULD actually be friends. In fact I had lots of guy friends. Truth be told being the only girl with two brothers I preferred to hang with guys! Football players, band members, baseball players, guys in my classes, I was so o.k. with just being FRIENDS. Men bring a certain kind of energy—that YIN, YANG thing—that I love.
happy coupleOne guy in particular was my BEST friend throughout 11th grade. He was the first person I told about my boyfriend drama, or my family drama…we had class together, ate lunch together…did what best friends do. The beach was close to where I lived, so one day we drove to the beach to hang out.  We grabbed a couple of glasses, something to drink and strolled along the seashore. The beach is my absolute FAVORITE place on the planet to be . . . so I was darn near in heaven! Chillin with my friend until he turned and asked me, “have you ever seen us as more than friends?”
Whoa…what the?! My internal brakes slammed on…before I could stop myself I was saying EWWWWWWWW!!! NO! You’re my best friend…like a brother!! I saw his face ever so slowly start to contort and then I saw the hurt and disappointment show through his eyes.
Another male friend bit the dust. The relationship was never able to recover AND that’s when I figured out there is no way on the planet for men and women to be JUST FRIENDS! Yet all the advice out there suggests that couples should be friends and lovers.
But exactly how does friends work? Is it a given to have to move into the friends with benefits category? Hold up … Does a man even really want a friend? Or maybe he just really wants a freak? And how does he choose his FOREVER LADY? What if you ain’t giving up THE COOKIES before you get married? Are you doomed to always be just THE FRIEND?
It is apparent to me that MEN WANT BAD GIRLS. But just who are the bad girls? Carole Lieberman is author of the book “BAD GIRLS: WHY MEN LOVE THEM & HOW GOOD GIRLS CAN LEARN THEIR SECRETS.” She says there are 12 types of BAD GIRLS:
• The addict
• The sex siren
• The sexual withholder
• The gold-digger
• The married woman on the prowl
• The commitment-phobe
• The husband hunter and trapper
• The husband stealer
• The ultimate damsel in distress
• The cougar
• The ball-buster
• And The bad girl scorned
Whatever category she fits into, Carole says a bad girl is sexy, attractive, alluring, bold, seductive, fun, wild, exciting, flirtatious, cunning and smart. No wonder men are attracted to BAD GIRLS. They know just what a man wants to hear and just what he wants her to do to make him feel cared for. But if we’re honest, as women we grow up knowing that it’s expected that we are to have a split personality: GOOD GIRL public image; BAD GIRL private life. But what happens when you can’t reconcile the two demands? What happens to your self-esteem and your emotions if you can never seem to move out of the FRIEND category or FREAK category? If you’re a best friend or a booty call can you ever hope to be THE ONE?
Well that’s what I talked about: FRIEND, FREAK OR FOREVER LADY?! LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE.
I am your Chief Empowerment Officer JENNIFER KEITT and The Jennifer Keitt Show airs on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B every Sunday evening from 7 -8 pm ET.

 

 

I was talking with some friends the other night—young married women and you know I was really touched by how much MONEY impacts relationships.
breadwinning wivesAs they say, money makes the world go round, but I’ve discovered in LOVE relationships money can STOP your relationship from moving forward. Who makes the money —that question can set things on fire. Let me ask you, does it matter how much your significant other makes? C’mon be honest, what impact do paychecks have on your love life? Wait…what about if SHE makes MORE than HE does? Then what? Do the same age-old rules still apply?
Let’s find out.
Here’s a marital problem that I was reading about recently: this man said, “We’ve been married for 5 years plus and we have 2 kids. A few months after our wedding, my wife got a job with an oil company while I have always been a banker.” (SO BOTH PEOPLE IN THIS RELATIONSHIP WORK) He continues, “We were earning about the same salary when she started the job, but after a while she started earning more and now she earns almost twice my salary. With time (he says) she started disrespecting me and even talks any old way to me. We started having quarrels now and then and one day, out of anger and frustration I slapped her. (OH NO he didn’t!) Immediately after that I regretted ever raising my hands no matter the provocation. I begged for her forgiveness but she still holds it against me.  And to be honest, at the peak of the quarrels and insults, I was driven into the hands of another woman but I have confessed to her and promised her that it’ll never happen again, but she holds that against me too. When I finally got her to sit down and discuss our problems with a view of finding a lasting solution, she made it known to me that she’s NOT happy that she’s bringing more money home. In fact, she came right out and told me that I’m not doing enough to improve my career. I was surprised at that because I’m earning a very decent salary that most people can only dream of, I still tried to explain to her that what I have is a dream job . . . I’ve done my MBA and also have a PMP certification. But suddenly she claimed she doesn’t love me anymore and stopped me from touching her. This is really affecting me and my job  . . . I’m frustrated at the situation in my home as we live like two strangers. What do I do?”
What does he do? Physical abuse, adultery, arguing, no sex, and a gulf between them as wide as the Grand Canyon ALL BECAUSE SHE MAKES MORE MONEY THAN HE DOES! They should stop the nonsense, be grateful they are making money and get the CAHONAS to really talk about the role MONEY is playing in their supposed LOVE relationship.
I don’t love my husband Tony BECAUSE of how much he does or doesn’t make. I love him because of the KIND of person that he is and has always been. Yet, if I were to be honest DOLLARS at points in our relationship did make us loose our SENSE! In 1988 after the birth of our first child I gave up my TV and RADIO career to become a stay-at-home Mom. Yep, I know what it’s like to be the one who depends on your spouse. I trusted that my husband would provide for our growing family and it was one of the toughest things that I ever did because I’m an INDEPENDENT WOMAN taught not to rely on NOBODY. I was scared for years that if he left me high and dry I was gonna be out of luck. Thank God 26 years later he wasn’t that kind of person. So I know how important who makes the money is in relationships.
Should it matter who makes more? NO. But does it matter who makes more? YES IT DOES.
Ralph Richard Banks is the author of the book IS MARRIAGE FOR WHITE PEOPLE? And he states in an article “As a consequence of increased education and greater access to high-paying jobs, wives are more likely than ever before to earn more and to be better educated than their husbands. Among African-Americans, the group most likely to have role reversal marriages . . those relationships are often conflict-ridden and more likely to end in divorce than marriages where the partners are more economically and educationally compatible.”
Whoa! So does that mean if we don’t have the same degrees, and similar paychecks we can’t stay married. Come on Black folks! Is this true? Ladies, if your man makes less than you, for real, is that a problem? But what about LOVE? Or are you asking like TINA TURNER, “What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?” Gentlemen, is your ego so large that you can’t handle a woman who makes more money than you do? Does your paycheck define you as a man?
You know we’ve got to talk about this! Why? Because how we’re behaving is impacting our children and we’re raising a generation of kids who are CLUELESS about having long-lasting, meaningful, loving relationships.
So, how do men handle dating or marrying women who make more? YOU HAVE GOT TO HEAR THIS SHOW! My phone lines were ringing through the end of the show! LISTEN HERE.
I am your chief empowerment officer, JENNIFER KEITT and you can listen to THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW exclusively on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B. Online live on Sunday’s 7 -8 pm ET: http://www.jenniferkeitt.com
Get ready because I’m going there, right smack dab into the middle of your love life!
One of my producers found this saying this week, to set us up for this topic: it says “BAD BOYS AINT NO GOOD – GOOD BOYS AINT NO FUN?” Is this true? You better believe it is!  The choices that we make as women prove it. I think we’re afraid to admit it, but let me tell you what I know about you—about many women in fact—we have BAD BOYS in our past! And not all of them were mistakes. These bad boys offer us a challenge, we find them exciting, stimulating, dangerous even. Their swag, their arrogance masked as confidence, their social capital, we KNOW IT, they’re TROUBLE with a capital T!

business-men

I can still remember my first bad boy. I was the new girl that year. First day of school, I walked onto the school bus I looking for an open seat. The bus started moving I jerked forward and awkwardly made my way down the aisle, trying desperately not to fall. I past row after row of kids who were doubled up…even tripled up on every seat. The bus was packed and as I made my way toward the back, I started panicking thinking, “Oh my goodness, I’m going to have to stand all the way to school!” And then I saw him. Sitting in the middle of a seat, alone. I stopped and asked him was the seat taken. And he looked at me…and I knew instantly…he was a “somebody” in the pecking order of high school…and I was gonna be embarrassed if he didn’t say I could sit.  Well he said yes and my life wasn’t the same again that entire school year. On that first bus ride to school…my first day of my JUNIOR YEAR in a new school, I sat down next to the quintessential star of the basketball team, star of the football team, senior BAD BOY. I knew deep down in my gut that this guy was trouble…and I KNEW that I should stay away. I didn’t, I ran to him and I paid dearly for it!
Fast forward to college. Now you’d think I’d learned my lesson right? NO! Just like you, I wanted what I wanted. I was grown, in college. So I started dating this guy, but he was “good” guy: smart and funny, I met his Mom and family he came from a good background. Well everything was cool until he decided to pledge a FRATERNITY. Now here’s where things got really, really, interesting.
I learned in college that guys can change categories. Good boys can become bad. Week after week, after week as he got closer and closer to crossing—I saw my GOOD GUY transform into a BAD BOY right before my eyes. I was like, really? Why is your apartment filling up with women—who were these girls? Besides practicing your steps for the Greek show—what else are you practicing up in here? No one was on him like that when we started dating. But I learned in college that colors and a cane—oops did I say cane—well I learned that a FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION can change a brother BIG TIME. In fact, FRAT BOYS were bad boys on campus. I watched as my guy crossed and lost his mind and of course I was a casualty of that war. What guy would want one girl when you could have all girls—at the same time if you wanted? On campus I saw guys who were nobodies became BAD BOY somebodies because they pledged a FRAT. And the women ate it up—literally!
Here’s why I’m talking about this. Guys every day you’re trying your darndest, you’re trying to wine and dine your woman, trying to be nice and date nice young ladies and you can’t win for losing. She’s taking advantage of your kindness, playing you for a fool, making you feel like a punk…and you can’t figure her out. Ladies, you continue to pursue and go after the bad boys time and time again. Here’s what you say, “I got this! I can change him!” You’re convinced you can change him. And you wind up hurt over and over again. I’m tired of women and men walking around blind with jacked up relationships. Women can’t find the love they want because they keep getting screwed by BAD BOYS—or when they do find a good guy, they mess it up because they don’t know how to handle being treated well. And men don’t know what the heck women want! They try to treat us with kindness or respect and we piss ‘em off because we say they’re weak and boring. This madness has GOT to stop! That’s why I’m doing this show so we can make our way toward better relationships. Let’s get this party started! The phones never stopped ringing throughout this show . . . LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE NOW.
GOOD BOYS, BAD BOYS & MOMMA’S BOYS: The men women love and WHY we love them. Our conversation extends to FACEBOOK, TWITTER #jkshow and MY WEBSITE’S live chat www.jenniferkeitt.com. I am your CHIEF EMPOWERMENT OFFICER, Jennifer Keitt, and THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW broadcasts every Sunday, 7-8 pm on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B.

 

 

If you believe the statistics literally everyone, everywhere deals with infidelity. Cheating has unfortunately become one of the most common problems in relationships. I’ve asked myself time and time again, what makes people cheat? What would make ME cheat? Does every one man or woman have the potential to be unfaithful? Is cheating like a contagious disease that’s infected and spread to all of us? Or is cheating an individual decision, a lifestyle or a way of living? Are we taught to cheat? Is it something we learn?

In my life, I grew up in a home where cheating was “NORMAL” if I can use that word. I don’t know when exactly I knew but for as long as I can remember I’ve known that my Dad kept other women on the side. I’m not sure if he just repeated the brokenness he was raised in…or if he just decided that his libido would make all of his relationship decisions. My Dad was what I call a serial cheater. He owned a West Indian Grocery Store in upstate New York when I was growing up. We lived in Connecticut, so he’d travel daily between the business and home.  And the times when he was too tired to drive, he’d just sleep in a storage area inside the grocery store….he just wouldn’t necessarily sleep there alone.

One time my Mom went to the store unannounced to bring him some needed store supplies. She had my baby brother in her arms as she knocked on the back door of the grocery store. She heard movement inside but when my Dad took way too long to answer, she began walking around to the front of the store. As she made her way to the front—which was glass by the way—my Father was trying to push the other woman out the front door! There’s my Mom with groceries in one arm and my baby brother in the other, staring at the other woman and my Dad who’d just been CAUGHT cheating! It got pretty ugly that time, knives might have been wielded –but that didn’t end the marriage. Feelings were stuffed, behavior didn’t change and life kindof went on. My Mom stayed and stayed and stayed until after 17 years, she left. Maybe 17 years of stuffing feelings, explanations that failed and the sheer exhaustion of being in an unfaithful marriage finally took its toll.

Cheating is a pretty straight forward deal when you think about it. You’re committed to one person and you decide you want someone else too. But why? What’s in us that pushes us to cheat? Is it about sex? Is it about needs? Is it because our spouse isn’t fulfilling our wants? Or is it because our co-worker listens when our husband won’t and late night sexting is more stimulating than our spouse who’s lying in bed beside us.

I’ve talked about this subject over the years hundreds, maybe even thousands of times. I’ve listened counseled, cried and sat with people in pain. And I know that cheating is much more and much deeper than the headlines that we read. The elaborate scheming it takes to cheat is unbelievable…Maria Shriver and Arnold  Schwarzenegger to mind. He not only cheated but his mistress lived with them as the housekeeper and he had a child with her! All the while Maria raised her kids, slept with him every night and they did life together. Infidelity is deep.

Maybe you’re in an affair right now, or you’re thinking about crossing that line. Maybe you’ve had an affair and it’s eating away at you and you don’t know how to tell your spouse. Maybe you’ve been cheated on, betrayed and you’re mad as hell and don’t know if you can ever get over it. Well tonight, this show is for you and for me…to help us talk about cheating in our relationships, why we cheat and most importantly if cheating happens, deciding if you stay or do you go?

It’s time that we push past the headlines and gossip. It’s time that we stop talking about cheating out there and start looking at ourselves and our own capacity to cheat. How are you ensuring you won’t let a casual relationship turn into something more? We live in a social media society these days. And with the advent of texting, Facebook, and email, it’s made it a TON easier to find people, connect with people and have constant conversation off the radar. It’s also added a whole new dimension to the age-old dilemma of cheating. Is it cheating when you message an old girl or boy “friend” and your partner doesn’t know?

Today I want to take the masks off and get real. As your chief empowerment officer for MONTHS on this show I’ve shared my story and challenged you to think, reveal and share your lives with me. I want to start a REAL conversation right now about cheating in our relationships. My goal is simple: look in the mirror and discover why we cheat and what we we can each do if we are faced with infidelity. What do you think constitutes cheating in a relationship? If an affair happens, should the relationship automatically end?

If you’re daring, tell me why YOU cheat. If you’ve been cheated on, did you stay or did you go? Why? Let’s take the lid off this subject and find healing, reasons and empowerment for our relationships!

Interestingly enough, my Dad told me before he died in a very vulnerable moment that he cheated all those years with all those women because my mother “let him.” Does a spouse “allow” cheating to happen or are we as individuals responsible for our own actions? Be sure to leave your comments below!

TWO powerhouse women are on this show : AIYANA MA’AT a certified marriage and relationship educator and TV’s ‘Divorce Court’ JUDGE LYNN TOLER these ladies are bringing it real in this show! LISTEN HERE

I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT and this is THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B!

 

The topic today: CRAZY FUNERALS! Yeah, you heard me, CRAZY FUNERALS!

Now what is a crazy funeral, you might ask? Well it’s like one that I attended. A close family member died and I was one of the speakers in the funeral.
Ask me why I had to ask one of my other relatives WHO the person was that was listed on the program—because the name that I knew this family member as—WAS NOT the name on the program. Now mind you I GREW UP WITH THIS MAN!! And then, ask me why in one of the front row sections did a young man sit down in the midst of my family—who NO ONE had ever seen? I noticed that all of my relatives started whispering, pointing and looking dumfounded about who this young man was! And then I found myself moments later having to introduce another SON that we nothing about!

What in the world!

So at the get together after the funeral, we spent HOURS trying to figure out who the man was that we just buried!! It was CRAZY! And mind you, crazy funerals happen ALL the time. The family drama, the money fights, the folks who show up at funerals that had secrets lives with the decedent.

Well o.k. here’s some more crazy. At my Father’s funeral, my Uncle sat in the front row, LITERALLY killing me with his eyes because he was FURIOUS with me for what he thought I should have done for my Dad. I remember getting through my remarks with daggers coming at me a mile a minute…from many in the audience, because my Father’s side of the family was and still is a difficult part of my life. For example, as my Father was literally on his death-bed in the hospital I had to attend the “brothers and sister” conversation that we had in the middle of a mall with my father’s other son and my brothers and me, awkward to say the least! We don’t speak to each other! Then there was my father’s youngest daughter who was at the funeral trying to find her place in this mess…and of course there was the tension between me and my father’s other wife and his family members.

It was CRAZY!

Ladies, and Gentlemen CRAZY FUNERALS happen all the time and they happen because we fail to have the important conversations with ourselves and our loved ones. So, you know me, I’ve decided it’s time to start today—with this post! In my 26 years in radio broadcasting I have NEVER discussed funerals. I want families to be whole, to be well—to share their stories and to NOT be drama-ridden OR HAVE CRAZY FUNERALS! That’s why I am talking about it with you.

My phone lines are open—I want to hear your CRAZY FUNERAL stories! You’ve got ‘em, you’ve either been to one, know of one, OR are anticipating one with maybe one of your loved ones! Call me now, 404-906-7720 to tell me your story. I bet you have NEVER been asked by a talk show host to share your CRAZY FUNERAL STORIES!!! First time for everything! Call me 404-906-7720.

The first step that we can take in eliminating CRAZY FUNERALS is to have important conversation with ourselves. As morbid as this may sound, I’ve talked to me about how I envision my death. And my family already knows. You stop any of my children or my husband and ask them what does your mother and wife want when she’s buried and they can tell you—NO open casket, NO long funeral, NO long speeches and NO sobbing or tears. I want my picture looking FABULOUS and I want for those attending to CELEBRATE my life with a party. Plus, I’ve taken all the steps to have my affairs in order—they know about the life insurance policies, where the important documents are, they know about the checking, savings, retirement accounts—I keep my life in order. And I want you to too.

I wish I could say the same about my close family members—I am unfortunately, anticipating some CRAZY FUNERALS so that’s why this show is just as important for me as it is for you. We can learn together how to begin to get our lives in order and have the IMPORTANT conversations with our loved ones. I am your CHIEF EMPOWERMENT OFFICER, Jennifer Keitt and I encourage you to listen to this INCREDIBLE SHOW. (CLICK HERE) The stories we heard…unbelievable! And the advice given…invaluable!!  The Jennifer Keitt Show is on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B, every Sunday 7 – 8 pm ET. Be sure to visit my website at www.jenniferkeitt.com to stay connected.
Jennifer Keitt

I am having a ball bringing you my unique ‘talktainment’ every week!  Be sure to help me spread the word! Tell your friends and family to listen to my show Sundays from 7 -8 pm on KISS 104 in Atlanta or live online at http://www.kiss1041fm.com.

Boy do I have juicy conversation for you today!  Our conversation today is about the NOT TALKED ABOUT THINGS in marriage. We are going to MARRIAGE SCHOOL ladies and gentlemen and I’d like to start this way…

As they swirled around the dance floor, everyone could see that the Prince and Cinderella were falling in love. He moved heaven and earth to find his Princess after that magical evening. The shoe fit, he married her and swept her away into his castle where they lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

The end…

Or is it?

If only it were that simple, right? If only we fell on love on the dance floor! If only ladies were really Princesses, and men were Princess then all of our troubles in marriage would be solved, you think?

Ok, I can admit it. I had a fairytale notion about marriage. I thought that marriage was an answer, the answer to my loneliness, my self-esteem issues, my money concerns and I definitely thought it answered my sex needs. I can admit it, I thought marriage was a magic pill that you swallowed that instantly made you happy and live HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Well almost 26 years later, while I NOW know I did marry my Prince, BOTH he and I were some ugly TOADS along the way! My husband Tony and I jumped right in after dating straight to “living together.” We signed leases together, he was working and I was in college. And not only did we co-mingled our bodies and emotions, but co-mingled our lives. We did what felt right at that time. Eventually we did get married—two weeks after I graduated college—and then we began to attempt to become one all over again as a married couple.

YEAH RIGHT.

Well it worked, EVENTUALLY, but boy if I could have had some help along the way, how much LESS difficult things would have been. I think Tony and I have been through almost everything that we’re going to discuss. I’m calling this MARRIAGE SCHOOL—the NOT TAUGHT subjects in marriage!

No one taught me anything about living together. All I heard was what the old-folks used to say–NO  SHACKING! I never fooled myself into thinking Tony and I were really “married” when we weren’t but honestly both of our lives were COMPLETELY intertwined—and if one of us just walked away—the other person would have had to try to untangle the mess. With new statistics being released JUST THIS WEEK from the  CDC stating that 1 IN 4 BABIES ARE BEING BORN TO UNWED COUPLES LIVING TOGETHER, I thought we should go to school on this subject tonight.

Well what about sex—or should I say HAVING NO SEX—once you get married. I bought into what “they” said about having all the sex you want—kind of on-demand—once you got married. Of course YOU GOT MARRIED TO HAVE SEX! But then you don’t! What’s up with that? Tony and I have hit our dry spots in this area too—and so I knew we have to go to school on HOW TO HAVE SEX!

Now I can say I haven’t dealt with this next area but many, many couples have faced or are facing INFIDELITY. But hold up, today’s MARRIAGE SCHOOL lesson is on being married but on the DOWN LOW! According to one of my guest EXPERTS  …PLENTY—with a capital P—of average-Joe, Black guys, here in Atlanta are messing around with other MEN while being married to women!! I can’t wait to hear more!!

Whew…marriage is no joke!

And we’re GOING TO MARRIAGE SCHOOL for the subjects NOT BEING TAUGHT OR TALKED ABOUT in marriage!

If you’re single, listen to get schooled. If you’re married, LISTEN and TAKE NOTES! If your relationship status on Facebook says IT’S COMPLICATED, you know you better keep it locked here AND EVERYONE call in with your thoughts, questions or comments on MARRIAGE—the NOT taught subjects! My private hotline number is 404-906-7720, please leave your comments, questions and thoughts anonymously.

The Jennifer Keitt Show relationship contributor, DR. RONN ELMORE says that marriage is what he calls AN OUTRAGEOUS COMMITMENT because it’s the ONLY commitment that we make until we die! You’ve got to get in on this conversation! Call my private Show hotline number 404-906-7720 to leave your questions, thoughts and comments anonymously.

I am Jennifer Keitt, your Chief Empowerment Officer, and this is our MARRIAGE SCHOOL show, the NOT TAUGHT or TALKED ABOUT TOPICS in marriage. LISTEN RIGHT NOW by clicking this link and be sure to call my private show hotline number with your anonymous questions, thoughts and comments on the show: 404-906-7720.

 

The Jennifer Keitt Show airs weekly, 7 -8 pm Sundays on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B.

C’mon, what’s really the fascination with William and Kate getting married? Now, I have to admit like everyone else, I am waiting with bated breath to see what Kate’s dress is going to look like on Friday as she walks down the aisle of Westminster Abby. But I had to ask myself, why do I really care? The answer, for me, was simple. I, like most of the world, LOVE weddings—especially ROYAL WEDDINGS! I think “surely with a start like that it’s bound to work!” (Don’t we kind of look at marriages today like we’re looking at the betting odds in Vegas?!) But I am hoping, wishing, praying even that Will and Kate will beat the divorce odds (that are in his own family) and will conquer the beast of marriage and I am hoping that they truly will live, “happily ever after…”

Will and Kate’s impending nuptials have me going into my memory vault to my own marriage archives and pulling off of those dusty shelves my story of the nervous, excited, bubbly thoughts, feelings, hopes and desires that I had 48 hours before my big day, 25 years ago. Looking back I honestly didn’t have a clue (no more than Kate and William have)! I don’t care how long you’ve dated, how much you think you know before you say I do, YOU DON’T until you transition from the wedding to being married.

I’ve scanned the volumes of history my marriage to Tony has produced and I want to say to Will and Kate and to anyone who wants to turn a “Royal Wedding” into a “Real Marriage” use these simple strategies to help in the process:

1.       LISTEN INWARD BEFORE JUDGING OUTWARD

Be intentional about listening to what’s really going on inside YOU first before judging what your spouse is doing or saying! When I learned to ask myself, “Why are you upset that he’s late?” BEFORE I jumped on Tony for being late, I learned a lot (about myself of course but also about how to diffuse arguments or disagreements BEFORE they got started).  My prayer for Will and Kate is that they too will be quick to listen to what’s going on inside their own hearts and heads before they judge one another. I hope the future King and Queen learn quickly how to correct, judge and adjust their own hearts first BEFORE they judge the other person.  After many years of practicing this principle, life became so much easier with Tony, because I figured out, if I figured out what was going on with me, I didn’t need to “fix” what I felt was wrong with him!

2.       DEVELOP AN ELASTIC MIND

An elastic mind is one that stretches far and wide to embrace who our spouse is becoming rather than being rigid in our expectation that they will stay the same. I woke up one day after 20 or so years of marriage and looked at Tony and realized he’s NOT the man I married all those years earlier. He’d changed! A new man had invaded his body—complete with a different perspective, a different take on life and different thoughts, ideas and behaviors.

And I loved it.

You see men and women DON’T stay the same (or at least they shouldn’t). And after the royal wedding day is finished and the cake crumbs are swept away, the music fades and the wedding dress is packed away, you and I and Will and Kate will have to realize that humans aren’t designed to stay the same. The man or woman you marry today will inevitably want to expand, and explore different careers, different hobbies, different educational achievements; they will want to grow. And our minds MUST become elastic enough to stretch with our mates newness and becoming! I hope Will and Kate especially get this, so that as they grow into Monarchs… they will allow the other person to become who they’re destined to be without hesitation.

3.       BUILD LIFE TOGETHER AS BFF’S NOT AS BUSINESS PARTNERS

We can ‘fire’ our business partners. We’re not likely to fire our BFF (best-friend-forever) . Best friends are there, always. Best friends are the go-to person. They are the one you share “firsts” with…monumental events, changes in your life—they are the ones who get the phone call first, the 411, the scoop. They are the one we can’t wait to see, can’t wait to be with, can’t wait to “tell, share or laugh with.” BFF’s are the glue that holds our lives together and it’s my feeling that this person can and should be your spouse. Over the years, I can honestly say that Tony has become mine and I his, and I hope that Will and Kate will keep BFF status reserved for one another.

I hope that in the midst of the incredible ‘fish-bowl’ life that the royal couple are embarking on that they will (1) listen to their own hearts first, before judging the other person; (2) they will develop elastic minds capable of expanding to where their partner is growing and (3) that they will build their lives as BFF’s instead of business partners.

This strategy just may help turn this ROYAL WEDDING into a REAL MARRIAGE that lasts for a very long time.

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